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How to Deal with homesickness

2 Nov

Before we delve into this topic, let me say, I’m still dealing with it.  I’ve always been a homebody.  I was a momma and daddy’s girl from the very start.  When I was a little girl, people called me my father’s shadow because I’d be stuck to his leg!  My parents and I have always had a very close relationship.  To me they were always the cool parents; and I love spending time with them.  I have one brother and one sister; each with a boy and a girl.  My nephews and nieces light up my life and it’s hard not to watch them grow up.  homesick-1

I’m sure you can imagine how bittersweet it was when I fell in love with a man who lived four states away (that’s about 9 hours driving!).  Moving truckNaturally my family was completely supportive because the husband/man wowed them and showed how much he loved lil ole me.  Still, it was hard packing up all my things and moving so far away.  I often have moments when I’m missing them so much it hurts.  I decided to make a list of things I’ve done to help combat my homesickness and maybe it’ll help you too.

  1. Accept the fact that you are homesick and that’s OK.  Sometimes I would try to “busy” myself into believing I wasn’t homesick.  FAIL!  It didn’t work and made the tears fall harder.  Accepting and embracing it helped me to deal.
  2. Stay in Touch.  I have a large family and a host of friends.  Staying in touch can be easier said than done.  Here is where technology can be your friend.  Text messaging, emails, and phone calls will definitely help keep you connected.  In my case, I can add this blog to the list.  I’ve found it’s important to continue to share your everyday life with those you don’t see often.  It makes that connection stronger and more alive.
  3. Visit often.  The husband/man and I try to get to FL as often as possible.  My parents don’t fly, so when they visit us they drive.  I work from home so I have a bit more flexibility in my schedule.  I’ve gone back home without the husband/man at times only because my schedule affords me that flexibility.  While I’m there, I make the visit count.  I don’t overload the visit with seeing too many people, because cramming too much in one trip is exhausting.  I spend quality time with those I love.
  4. Hold on to memories and memorabilia.  I have pictures all over the house of my family and friends.  It makes me feel better to see them there.  It’s like bringing them into my world here.  I have pieces of jewelry, clothes and keepsakes that were given to me by family and friends and I keep them safe in special places so I feel connected.
  5. Embrace your new location.  After we were married, I was so excited yet homesick at the same time.  While I didn’t realize it at the time, I was subtly rejecting my new city.  I lacked desire to get our and explore it and I felt like I was cheating on Jacksonville if I enjoyed Richmond.  Once I let go of that feeling and got out and roamed, I started to enjoy the differences this place had to offer.   I was eager to get out and try new things.  And guess what, I found out I really like it here.
  6. Initiate new friendships.  This was a toughie for me!  I have incredibly substantial friendships that span my lifetime and quite honestly, I was good there.  I didn’t have a strong desire to open myself up to new people.  I created this lonely bubble when I first arrived.  Thankfully, I’ve made great strides in breaking that.  Now I’ve made some wonderful friends here that have warmed my heart.  Plus I’ve learned there is room for all of the people I love.
  7. Give it time.  Homesickness doesn’t disappear, but it does get better.  In truth, I still miss my family and friends just as much as I did when I first arrived.  However, I’ve learned how to cope.  I’m coming up on almost four years of being in VA, and I feel like I’ve grown so much.  But it took time.  Be patient with yourself.

Well there ya go! My list of tips for combating homesickness.  This list is by no means exhaustive.  Please feel free to leave your tips in the comment section.  I’d love to hear them.

Ode to the Dishwasher

21 Oct

Sleek, smooth, compact, and efficient.  If I could hug my dishwasher I would.  Growing up there was no dishwasher in the house.  My brother, sister and I were the dishwashers.  I can remember when I was “old enough” to share in this monumental task.  My older brother Terrance naturally took the lead in washing the dishes.  My sister Melanie had the job of rinsing all the dishes.  Then there was me.  I was the baby so I got the job at the end.  I had the duty of drying and putting away the dishes.   I was significantly shorter so I was fortunate to have a chair to stand on so I could place the dishes in the proper cabinets.  Can you picture it?  All three of us standing in the kitchen working hard toward a common goal.  That goal was not to feel the wrath of my father if we didn’t finish our chores.   Eventually, as we grew, the roles changed and as the last child left at home, the dishes became a full-time occupation.  Dishwater is hard on the hands; my nails and cuticles suffer greatly.

When I moved into my first apartment, there was a standard dishwasher in the kitchen.  Nothing fancy and quite frankly it was pretty outdated.  I think I used it once and decided it wasn’t for me.  I had to re-wash most of the dishes!  There was no time savings to be found with that thing.  I swore off dishwashers after that.  Yes, I know that’s harsh – because not all dishwashers are created equal.  How close minded of me : – ).

Earlier this year our landlord purchased a new dishwasher for our townhouse.  And let me say this … Ahhhhhhhhhh!  I actually sang that as I typed.  This beautiful GE1machine has added such value to my life.  The inside is so full you could fit a small child in there.  Of course I would NEVER do that – that is abuse people!  But it’s pretty big and I’ve made it my mission to see just how many dishes I can fit inside.  It still amazes me how the two of us can use so many dishes in one week.  But I guess the husband/man and I really like to open cabinet doors and reach for new, fresh, clean dishes.

Anyhoo, where would I be without my dishwasher?  Still standing there breaking my back over the kitchen sink and spending far too much money at the nail tech trying to restore my cuticles.  Who knew a machine could add such value to my quality of life.  Thank you landlord and thank you GE!  You simply ROCK!

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